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Opinion >  Letters

Reasons for variable pay

The March 25 Spokesman-Review included an AP article with this headline: “Study: Male nurses scarce, but earn more than women.” The article stated “the average 2013 salary for male nurses was about $70,000 versus about $60,000 for women.”

The strong inference is that health care employers have two pay grades, one for male nurses (higher) and another for females (lower). Nothing could be further from the truth.

Female registered nurses’ annual earnings can be lower than male RNs’ annual earnings for a number of legitimate reasons including:

1. A number of female RNs accept part-time work to augment the income of a full-time husband and to spend time at home with children.

2. A female RN may choose a lesser-paying, straight day clinic job rather than cope with a higher-paying, shift-based job in a hospital.

3. A female RN on maternity leave will likely be paid less than her male RN counterpart.

And the list goes on and on.

Additionally, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 makes it illegal to discriminate, male versus female, in matters such as pay.

Gordon Spunich

Spokane Valley

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